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Hauppauge Fined for Ignoring FCC Correspondence

The FCC sent Hauppauge Computer Works a Notice of Apparent Liability for $11,000 for apparently willfully and repeatedly violating “a Commission order by failing to respond to a directive of the Enforcement Bureau (‘Bureau’) to provide certain information.” FCC rules require that all video devices that receive TV signals shipped after March 1, 2007, include DTV tuners.

Hauppauge continued to sell analog-only TV boards after March 1, 2007, asserting that its products are not stand-alone TV receivers, but rather are components added to a personal computer to provide TV capabilities. Using a Hauppauge analog TV board did not preclude the use of a DTV receiver board in the same computer.

The FCC responded to Hauppauge’s assertions by notifying the company that its response was not sufficient. Under FCC rules, Hauppauge had 15 days to respond. Approximately 29 days after the FCC letter of inquiry was sent, Hauppauge responded. “Due to our annual audit, we have been unable to finish processing your request,” the company said. “We expect that we will be able to do so within the next 30 days.”

The FCC notice stated, “To date, however, Hauppauge has not complied with the Bureau’s directive to provide the requested information.”

The fine was issued for Hauppauge’s failure to respond to the FCC. It is not for the Hauppauge’s sale of analog-only PC tuners. A recent check of Hauppauge’s Web site showed they were still selling analog-only PC tuners such as the WinTV-USB-2 and PVR-350. Analog-only tuners, of course, are still legal outside of the United States.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.